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NORFOLK, VAAnesthesiologist Thomas Kingston was the hit of the OR today.  Normally after induction and intubation, Kingston puts up the drape to signal it’s game on for Sudoku.  Not this time.  After putting up the drape, he decided to put on a puppet show for the surgical staff.

puppet show
Kingston stalks his surgical team, waiting to surprise them with Zed the Zebra

“I saw the drape go up, so I was ready to make the first incision,” said general surgeon Alex Finley with a sort of suppressed giggle.  “Next thing I know, Kingston is speaking in a falsetto voice and he introduces us to his sock puppets, Gerald the Giraffe and Zoe the Zebra!  I had no choice.  I put my instruments down; the perforated appendix had to wait until intermission!”

“I was really stoked that everyone got into it,” said Kingston, his patient’s vitals still looking great.  “Finley put his tools town, the med students and residents starting clapping their hands, and even the scrub tech and X-ray tech broke scrub.  It was awesome!  They were all sitting Indian style and we had a grand ole time!”

puppet show
Clockwise starting from 9 o’clock: Gerald the Giraffe, Zed the Zebra, Zoe the Zebra, and Georgina the Giraffe

At one point, the scrub tech Tamara Johnson laughed so hard that she accidentally spilled a dozen or so pieces of gauze into the patient’s open abdomen.  “How many fell into the abdomen?” she asked with a thunderous laugh.  “Who knows!  All I know is that Kingston and his sock puppets are a riot!  ENCORE!  ENCORE!!”

Kingston developed a passion for sock puppets after his interest plateaued with both Sudoku and Candy Crush.

“Everyone in the OR thought I was just doing my puzzles and games over the past few months,” said a relieved Kingston after putting on an OR puppet show for the ages.  “They didn’t know I was working on my puppet show.  I’m so glad the time, effort, and hard work paid off.  That’s why I become an anesthesiologist: to provide entertainment for our surgical staff.”

The news of Kingston’s “Traveling Airway Puppet Show” spread so quickly throughout the Virginia area that surgeons are paying top dollar to have Kingston manage their patients’ airways.  “Heck, if it’s as good as I’ve heard,” said one surgeon, “I’d be willing to change the table position myself!”


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